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Asia Urbs is Becoming Effective

The Asia Urbs Programme is now in its operational phase after the setting up of the Asia Urbs Secretariat in March 1998.

By Gie Siauw

Initiated by the European Commission, the Asia Urbs Programme is a new framework for decentralized co-operation between Europe and Asia. It will enhance and strengthen links based on urban development co-operation between local governments in South and Southeast Asia and Europe. The Programme is designed to move urban development planning closer to the beneficiaries focusing on citizen participation and capacity building. It will encourage the delivery of technical and financial support to pilot projects.
The total budget allocated for the projects is twenty-six million ECU for a three-year period, while the development projects should normally last two years at a maximum. A Call for Proposals will be launched and each selected project will be co-financed by the European Commission up to 500,000 ECU. The remainder - at least thirty-five per cent of the total cost in cash or in kind - will be supported by the partners.
Besides enhancing co-operation between Europe and Asia, the objective of the Asia Urbs Programme is to improve quality of life of the citizens in their cities in assisting local governments to strengthen their efforts towards sound urban management. The Programme will consider activities aimed at reinforcing networks of local governments and close partnerships in the following areas: urban management, including institutional development and urban design policies and techniques; socio-economic development including participation of women in the cities and urban poverty alleviation; urban environment, conservation and rehabilitation, management of water and waste; and urban social infrastructure including methodologies and feasibility studies.
Priority will be given to: project design and pilot projects where the substance and the proposed form of participatory implementation has demonstrative values; projects aimed at improving the quality of life of dwellers through adequate provision of urban services; sound proposals for carrying out the activities and the dissemination of results.
In terms of eligibility, European and Asian local governments with a legal status in their respective countries are the appropriate bodies to prepare project proposals, make financial requests and implement the related activities. Each project will be based on a partnership involving at least two local governments from two different European Union member states and at least one of the following eligible Asian countries: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.
For more information please contact Asia Urbs Secretariat, Avenue Marie Josť 44b, 1200 Brussels, Belgium, tel: +32-2-732 87 94, fax: +32-2-732 87 07, e-mail: secretariat asia-urbs.com, www.asia-urbs.com

   IIAS | IIAS Newsletter Online | No. [nummer] | General